Archive for the ‘Quilting’ Category

Today I finished piecing the top for my daughter’s Birthday Rainbow quilt. Now I just have to quilt it in time for June 10.

rainbow on wall WM

Maya Greyhound “helped” me during the assembly.

maya rainbow WM

Next on my Quilting Agenda are these two projects that I have already started:

Brick Wall, with another Greyhound model, Katy:

Brick wall with Katy

and these cute Batik blocks in the Cross Ties pattern by Kathy Brown:

New squares WM

Happy Quilting!


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These are my new Quilting Dogs — Katy, Maya and Ivan Greyhound.  They are retired racing dogs that we adopted from a rescue charity, and they are the sweetest, most affectionate and loving dogs that we have ever lived with.  Ivan arrived first, then Katy a few months later, and Maya came to live with us one year after that.

Three babies

Katy, Maya and Ivan Greyhound

Nigel, my original Quilting Dog, passed away in November 2012, at the great age of 16.  I have read that dogs cannot see colours, but Nigel could recognise purple, and it was his favourite colour.  He would often take little pieces of purple fabric and hide them all around the house.  Every so often, I would find one in his bed or in the living room and wonder where on earth it had come from.  He had secret stashes.  😉



Nigel with his own little purple quilt

My life changed about two years ago, and I haven’t been sewing.  I’ve only made two things in all that time — a birthday quilt for my sweet friend,


and a wedding gift quilt for my niece to give to her maid of honour at her wedding last summer.  This is just the top — I forgot to take photos when it was quilted.

hannah quilt


It’s nice to be sewing again.  I’m working on this simple “leaders and enders” project, a là Bonnie K. Hunter, that I started a very long time ago.  When this is done, I will start again on my mountain of unfinished projects — one quilt at a time.

Katy and Maya quilt


Ivan quilt


So far, my new quilting dogs don’t seem too interested in quilt construction, but they do like to be covered up with quilts, and I think they are really good at posing for photos!   😉

Happy Quilting!

Dianne  xx

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Sewing again

My lovely niece Hannah is getting married in July.  She lives far away, and I don’t get to see her very often.  I was very touched to learn that she still uses a quilt that I made for her when she was a little girl.     H-quilt Dec 2000

Hannah asked me to make a quilt as a gift for her maid of honour.  What an honour for me to be such an important part of her Big Day!  🙂  She admired a quilt that I made for her Grandad a while back, and asked if I could use that colour scheme for her friend’s quilt.
Dad's quilt

I still had a lot of that fabric in my stash and thought how easy this would be!

2014-05-20 17.16.34

When I looked at the fabric selection again, I was less enthusiastic.  The colours were still nice, and the fabric was in excellent condition, as my stash lives in a windowless dark room under the stairs.  But I no longer have every fabric from the original, and it all looked a bit boring and dated and not very feminine.  These are young sophisticated working women in their mid-20’s, so I definitely wanted something more contemporary without being overly girly.

After a little trip to the fabric store and mixing and matching with other choices from my stash, I finally had the good mix that I saw in my “vision” of Hannah’s quilt.

The new fabrics:
2014-05-20 17.27.56

The two groups together:

2014-05-20 17.29.28

This pattern is a variation of a Victorian crazy quilt.  Here are the little components shuffled and ready to assemble into blocks.


And the first completed block:

Completed block
I love this pattern.  It’s called “Stack, Cut and Shuffle”, and it was designed by Marion Patterson.  It’s from the book, love…Quilting.    This is a great book, and I highly recommend it.  No affiliation, I just like this book a lot.  Every pattern looks like fun to make.

book cover

The finished quilt top at Stage 1:

Top Stage 1

The pattern instructions  are complete at this stage, but I’m going to make some changes.  It is 40 inches x 60 inches now, and I want it larger, so I’m going to add 5-inch borders all around.  Then the abstract blocks will look like they are “floating” on a green background.


As usual, I am behind schedule.  It’s been a topsy turvy couple of years for our family and our house.  My sewing room has been re-purposed (again), and I have become a sewing nomad, working in different areas of the house wherever there is a flat surface.  😉

I am also very slow at sewing.  I always chase perfection, but I realise now that is the first step on the road to madness for me.  I’m trying to be more relaxed now, do my best work and enjoy the process without stressing over it.  Especially as the wedding draws near, I realise that FINISHED really is “better than perfect”.  But it’s going to be as perfect as I can manage.  🙂 Happy Wedding, Hannah!  I hope you like the quilt.   XOXOXO

More later as the finishing stages are completed!

Happy Quilting!  🙂

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And I was just going to tell you what I did with my Summer vacation!!!

It hasn’t been a brilliant year for sewing or quilting, but I did manage to finish one project.  This was a birthday present for my friend Dena in June 2013.

She chose this Green string quilt from my stack of finished tops needing quilting, along with a burgundy print backing fabric to match her new sofa.

Quilt on Wall

I quilted it with a simple Free Motion meandering pattern on my domestic sewing machine.  Not the most skilled meandering, but I am improving.  🙂

Dena quilt2

I attached the binding by machine using Pat Sloan’s method, which worked great for me.

Dena quilt

And when I visited Dena’s home last week, I was so thrilled to see her quilt on the back of her sofa!  She likes it!  That’s such a good feeling.  🙂

quilt at D's house

Happy Thanksgiving, and Happy Quilting, too!

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I’ve been visiting this book  — Traditional British Quilts by Dorothy Osler — at my public library about once a month for the past two years.  It’s in the reference section, so I couldn’t check it out and take it home with me.  It was also published in 1987, and it’s been out of print for a while, so for the longest time, I couldn’t even find a copy to buy.  Until now!  I just found it last week!  🙂

I fell in love with a wonderful quilt on Page 29.  It’s called Medallion Quilt in multicoloured cottons;  North Country:  c. 1880.  The photo is in black and white, so I can’t see the “multicoloured cottons,” but I know it must be really special.  Every time I looked at this book in the library,  I made lots of notes and little drawings so I could remember what the quilt looked like.


Then I came home and started making my own version of the Medallion Quilt in all the deep reds and burgundies I had in my stash.  I wanted my quilt to be rectangular instead of square, so I changed the centre design from 9 squares with sashing to 12 squares with sashing.

The borders and cornerstones will increase by 1/2 inch in width with each subsequent row.  Borders 3 to 6 are already cut out and ready to go.

Border 7 will be a Flying Geese “Goose Chase” flowing in anti-clockwise direction, and the geese will be made of all the scrap fabrics left over from the other borders.  Here’s an example of that pattern from the Quilters Cache website.

I haven’t done the maths, so I don’t know how big this quilt will turn out to be, and I’m not going to make myself feel guilty for taking a long time to finish it.  It’s been such an interesting project — I just want to savour it!  🙂

Happy Quilting!

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Next up, Scrappy Trips Around the World, using Bonnie K. Hunter’s free pattern on her website.

Sometimes I see a quilt pattern first and then visualise it in my own fabrics.  This time, we found a wonderful fabric first.  I bought this cute snake fabric because my little girl liked it so much.  And when I saw Bonnie’s pattern, I knew it would be perfect!

This is a Moda fabric called “Sss-silly Safari” and designed by Cheri L. Strole.  I’m going to use it for the outer borders.

I had lots of colourful scraps left over from another quilt I made for my daughter in 2008, which I combined with other brights from my stash for this project.  My little one loves these happy colours.

Here are the first eight blocks assembled:

And more strips pinned and ready to sew:

Thank you very much, Bonnie, for sharing your lovely pattern!  🙂

Happy Quilting!

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I’ve made good progress on the blue and yellow Crossed Canoes project this month.  All the quarter blocks are finished (168 of them!), which will yield 42 – 12-inch blocks.  They are going to be set 6 x 7, and the finished quilt will measure approximately 72 inches by 84 inches.  It’s not going to have any borders.

The first six blocks are assembled.  Just 36 more to go!  🙂  The blocks were pieced on Ruby, the Singer 99K hand-crank machine, but I’m assembling the components on Marie, the Janome 6500P.  It goes much faster on the electric machine, and now I am impatient to finish!

Nigel the quilting dog is staying “on top of things”, as usual!  🙂

Happy Quilting!



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Lately I’ve been sewing only in my sewing room on my two favourite electric machines  — Marie, the Janome 6500P, and Peggy, the Singer 201K from 1951.

Today however, my 10-year-old asked me if I would sew in the living room so I could watch Dr. Who DVDs with her.  How could I resist a lovely offer like that?!  😉

I didn’t want to move those heavy electric machines and worry about extension leads trailing across the floor, so it was Ruby, the Singer 99K, to the rescue!  Small, portable, hand operated, and she doesn’t make much noise — just right for TV watching while sewing.

We are working on an ancient Blue and Yellow UFO.  I’m not sure exactly how old it is, but I do know that I bought this fabric in Houston, Texas, when I lived there, so this might be 16 years old or so.

The pattern is Crossed Canoes, and the paper pieced pattern can be found here on the World Wide Quilting Page.

I had 11 blocks previously made, and now I have enough components to assemble 25 blocks.  There is loads of fabric left, so I might keep going until I have enough blocks for a large bed-size quilt.  Most of the people in our family are tall, so lap quilts really aren’t big enough for us to wrap up in while reading or watching TV.

And here is Nigel, the quilting dog, supervising the activities!  He and this UFO project are just about the same age!  🙂  He is always my Number 1 helper.


Happy Quilting!


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Amy, of Amy’s Passions blogsite!

You can see her beautiful finished quilt here, along with a step-by-step account of how she did the challenge, and a lovely story about the quilt’s ultimate destination as a retirement gift for her friend.  Well done, Amy!  🙂  You will receive the top prize of a £15 gift certificate.

Pokey of Pokeydot quilting also finished her fantastic hexagon quilt,  which was given away as a 50th anniversary gift.  Pokey didn’t want to enter the prize drawing, but I think she’s a winner anyway, with her fine quilting skills.

I especially like it that both of these ladies used their cherished “best” fabrics for this challenge, and then gave the quilts away.   What a loving, selfless thing to do, and those gifts will surely become cherished family heirlooms.

Other participants made good progress during the year as well, but for one reason or another — like me — weren’t able to finish their projects in 2010.  Not to worry, though — we can finish our quilts later.  Our UFO’s will wait for us.  They always do!  😉

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It’s time to wrap-up our “Too Good to Cut” Challenge.

Has everyone finished their quilts?  Please don’t feel guilty if you haven’t because I haven’t finished my quilt, either.

If you followed the original guidelines posted last January and would like to be entered in the prize draw on January 1, 2011, please leave a comment with a link to your blog showing a photo of your finished quilt.  Or you can send me a photo, and I will post it here.  Participants’ links are listed in my blog roll.

I live in England, so the deadline for submitting photos is 12 midnight GMT on Friday, December 31, 2010.  Here is a link to a World Clock to show you what time that will be at your location.  Just enter “London” in the search box.

Prizes will be gift certificates, and the winners can specify where they want their gift certificates to come from (favourite quilt shop, Amazon, etc.), as long as it’s a company that will accept my international online payment to purchase it.

The gift certificates will be:

  • First prize –£15,
  • Second prize — £10, and
  • Third prize — £5

Those amounts are in British Pounds Sterling and will be converted to the appropriate currency for the winner, so be sure to let me know what country you live in and what currency you use.

The winners will be chosen by random drawing of names from a hat.

Good luck, everyone!  I’m looking forward to seeing your finished work!  🙂

Happy Quilting!

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